Paint Kitchen Automation Cleans up Inefficient Mess for Equipment Finisher

 

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

Graco E-Flo DC Pump

 

This case study demonstrates how the Graco Intelligent Paint Kitchen can improve the painting process by decreasing production downtime, lowering production costs and increasing process efficiency.

Customer

Heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher.

Challenge

 

The maintenance manager at a heavy-duty lift truck equipment finisher was left with someone else’s mess. The paint room supervisor had designed a paint kitchen for a 24-hour operation, only to leave when production changed to five days a week. With no one taking ownership of the paint room, inefficiency took over.

• Friday afternoons, the paint room attendant shut down the paint circulation, air compressor and pneumatic agitators.
• Monday mornings, they lost at least six carriers of parts and more than an hour of production time, because material had settled in the paint lines over the weekend.

Circulating the paint on the weekends meant running a 500-horse power (HP) air compressor. The energy cost savings seemed to outweigh the cost of lost parts.

 

Solution

 

The maintenance manager consulted his local distributor, who wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. The equipment they had was sound; it just didn’t provide the flexibility they needed. Their Graco account representative offered an out-of-the-box solution. The Intelligent Paint Kitchen (IPK), powered by the E-Flo DC 4-Ball Piston Pump, could allow them to reduce downtime, save on energy costs, and remotely monitor the paint room. Some of their existing equipment could even be repurposed in the new set up.

Results

 

The Graco Intelligent Paint Kitchen system automated the paint room and made their production schedule more flexible. Electric equipment avoided air compressor costs, and allowed them to keep the paint circulating during non-production times. With presets and remote monitoring controlling the paint room, efficiency is the new norm.

• Friday afternoons, the paint room attendant sets equipment on sleep mode.
• Monday mornings, production starts smoothly without loss of parts, downtime or rework.

With the help of remote monitoring, the maintenance manager now spends less time with production supervision. Their newfound efficiency allows them to
take on and scale back production as needed without overextending their resources.

 

 

 

 

Air Power Partnered with Graco on this case.

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Click Here to learn more about what Graco offers.

Water is Good. But Not in Your Airline.

Compressed air is readily available and simple-to-use, but it can be the most expensive form of energy in your application. Air leaving a compressor can also be dirty, and depending on the outside temperature, can contain moisture. The presence of moisture in the air line can damage and shorten the life of downstream equipment, such as pneumatic tools and Liquid/Powder spray equipment. Unregulated or improper air pressure can result in increased compressed air demand, which results in increased energy consumption. Excessive pressure can also increase equipment wear, resulting in higher maintenance costs and shorter tool life. Before compressed air can be used it should be Filtered, Regulated and in some applications, Lubricated.

Filters

 

Filters clean compressed air. Compressed air can carry condensed water, oil carryover from compressors, solid impurities (dirt and rust) generated within the pipelines, and other wear particles from the ambient air. These contaminants can cause problems at every point of use, and should be removed by installing suitable filters.

Regulators

 

Regulators reduce and control pressure in compressed air systems. They are used to control pressure to: air tools, such as impact wrenches and sanders, liquid and powder spraying devices and many other pneumatically powered manufacturing applications. Optimally, a pressure regulator maintains a constant output pressure regardless of variations in the input pressure and downstream flow requirements. Downstream equipment flow and pressure requirements must be determined to properly size the correct regulator for the application.

Lubricators

 

Lubricators add controlled quantities of oil into a compressed air system to reduce the friction of moving components. Most air tools and other air driven equipment require lubrication to extend their useful life. The use of an airline lubricator solves the problem of too much or too little lubrication that comes with other methods of lubrication such as a grease gun or oil, as well as supplying the right kind of lubricant for the tools being used. Once the lubricator is adjusted, a metered quantity of lubricant is supplied to the air operated equipment and the only maintenance required is a periodic refill of the lubricator reservoir. Adding lubrication to a system can also prevent synthetic compressor oil build-up on system components.

Clean air is a key ingredient that enables effective and efficient operation of tools, equipment, and machinery in almost every industry. As such, the use of air preparation devices, such as filters, regulators, and lubricators (FRLs) is an excellent way to keep your air supply in top condition, as well as enabling your tools and equipment to operate at their peak performance. Air Power can help you identify the cause of your airline issues and find a solution to keep your airlines clean and controlled.

 

ARO FLO Series

 

 

 

Air Power Attends Graco Finishing Series Launch Event

GRaco Finishing Series Event

 

The Air Power Sales team attended Graco’s 2019 Finishing Series Launch Event. It was held at the Georgia Power Center in Atlanta, GA and GEMA’s Training Facility located in Indianapolis, IN. This exclusive training is designed around Graco’s extensive product and application knowledge further equipping our team of Account Managers and supporting Application Specialist’s ability to support, promote, and identify opportunities within the manufacturing community.  We were able to receive 10 hours of hands-on training directly with Graco’s team of product managers, engineers, and marketing leaders; allowing for a successful and mutually beneficial event.  This training centered around cutting edge technology and product enhancements; with topics including: product messages, combating competition in the field, and proven examples (case studies) of how these technologies solve customer challenges.  Below are the seven (7) topics that the Air Power and Graco team covered in detail.

Intelligent Paint Kitchen for Pneumatic Pumps

 

Graco’s intelligent paint kitchen is a system of smart sensors communicating with each other that optimize the performance of your circulation system.  It is a less complex, less expensive alternative to advanced remote monitoring and control for the entire paint room — especially when compared to traditional custom built systems. All components are standard products, not a custom-built system, which makes them easy to be configured and install. And because both the initial investment and installation costs are lower, you’re able to be more competitive in a global market. With the intelligent paint kitchen, you can remotely monitor and control key circulation system parameters like pressures, flow rates, tank levels and agitator speeds. The enhanced awareness of key circulation system parameters in real-time enables quick diagnosis of issues and ensures your system is operating at peak efficiency.

 

 

New Pro XP Electrostatic Gun Models

 

Graco Pro XP Manual Electrostatic Spray GunGraco took their trademark, high performing electrostatic spray guns and made them better. They are smaller, lighter and designed to maximize your profits. Available in 40, 60 and 85 kV, the Pro Xp electrostatic spray gun also has a round spray option for when you need a bell-shaped pattern and a High Conductivity version for when you have low resistivity material.

 

 

Radial Piston Agitator

 

These units consume 30 to 50 percent less air than rotary vane motors. Manufacturers can upgrade to radial piston agitators, which run the most efficiently at low to medium speeds.

 

 

Sealed 4-Ball Plus Lower

 

Graco Sealed 4-Ball Plus Lower

Graco’s sealed lower not only has longer maintenance cycles, but it is also easier, faster and cheaper to replace than an entire pump assembly. The lower is completely sealed, so it can be used for every pumping application in your mix room, including catalyzed coatings. Common components make it simpler to maintain your pump, and it reduces inventory level on repair parts. Plus our positive displacement piston pumps displace fluid in both directions of the stroke, providing low cycle rates and high flow, ideal for applications using shear-sensitive materials.

 

 

 

Active Surge Suppressor

Graco Surge Suppressor

Graco surge suppressors were designed specifically for the finishing industry from decades of pump technology research. The streamlined fluid path ensures low shear, smooth fluid flow, and superior flush ability.

 

 

ProDispense

 

Graco ProDispenseGraco’s ProDispense is a cost effective, user-friendly electronic system that gives you the capability to quickly and accurately fill cavities with industrial fluids in assembly line environments. The ProDispense allows for Consistent fluid dispense that is compatible with manual or automatic applications.  The easy to use interface allows for the tracking of volume.  The fluid panel configurations allow for a wide range of material viscosity and flow rates with accuracy ranges of 1 to 3 percent.

 

 

ProControl 1KE

 

Graco ProControl 1KEGraco’s ProControl 1KE allows you to actively manage fluid and air pressure to lock in precise spray parameters. It not only monitors fluids, it has added controls to manage fluids and improve spray performance. These systems allow for precise control of pressure, flow rates, and atomizing air with the ability to easily adjust.  The user interface allows for accurate reporting of material usage while remotely monitoring all fluids via the advanced web interface on your corporate network.

 

 

Save Time and Paint with ProDispense

Manufacturing facilities utilize various types of coatings, some of which are two component paint.   These formulas must be mixed properly in order to properly adhere and perform in the field as designed.  This case study highlights a solution that allowed the customer to maintain tight paint ratios, minimize waste, and remove hand mixing from the process.

Customer

A leading manufacture within the truck and bus industry located in North Carolina.

Challenge

This truck and bus manufacturing facility has multiple paint booths due to their high volume, high quality, and high standards associated with the paint application.  They use a two component primer and paint, and have to maintain automotive quality finish on their production line.  The main paint line utilizes a Graco Proportioning System to dispense on ratio paint to operator; however the offline paint repair/touch up facility still relied on manually mixing (or “hot potting”).  Hot potting tended to be very wasteful as the paint mixed wasn’t always sprayed prior to gelling, or the two parts were mixed off ratio causing imperfections within the finish aesthetics and quality.  Due to hot potting the general work area was considered “messy” as operators were physically hand mixing paint and catalyst out of drums.

Air Power’s Solution

Air Power in partnership with Graco, proposed a solution utilizing the Graco ProDispense platform of product.  This proportioning solution allows the offline operators to mix exactly how much they need for each application on ratio every time. There is no guesswork when it comes to material being mixed or how much is needed, and the work area is self-contained with little to no mess. The offline paint process has become streamlined as the paint operator only has to know how much paint he needs (in liters) and what color.  They select the desired paint volume and color from a custom touch screen user interface. Once selected the exact amount is dispensed and mixed into the paint applicator.  The operator then removes the paint applicator and performs the associated painting task.

Result

Operators are no longer mixing paint by hand.  This alone has saved the company time and money due to costly mistakes associated with the hand mixing process.  The waste output has been reduced due to the ability to accurately and repeatedly meter, mix, and dispense the exact volume of paint in which the operator needs on time and on ratio.  Aesthetically the workspace is much cleaner.  An added benefit to management is the ability to now view, track, and have visibility of paint usage, due to the ProDispense reporting capabilities, within an application which historically has had none.  Allowing for better ontime tracking, shipment, and forecasting.

 

 


 

Graco’s ProDispense is a cost-effective and user-friendly electronic system that dispenses preset amounts of fluids. The ProDispense system allows durable goods manufacturers to quickly and accurately fill cavities with oil, grease, water, or other industrial fluids in assembly line environments where accurate dispensing is essential. ProDispense can deliver up to eight different fluids at multiple dispense points, and accurately measure volume.

  • Consistent fluid dispense
  • Reporting capability tracks volume and usage
  • Easily connects to PLC and barcode scanners
  • Return on investment assures that ProDispense quickly pays for itself
  • User interface provides simple operation and data entry
  • Local or integrated control
  • Manual or automatic dispense
  • Tracks dispense results for process verification

 

 

 

 

 

Air Power Puts the Graco ProMix PD2K to the Test with HB Fuller

Air Power Manufacturing Solutions Put PD2K to the Test with Graco and HB Fuller

 

The customer is switching to Swifttak 4431 Heat Reactivated Water Based Adhesive, a two-component adhesive, for better product quality. They need a system to effectively mix and spray the 2K adhesive. The Graco PD2K is the only 2K system that can effectively handle the Swifttak adhesive due to the industrial pump based unit which allows for operation in either flow or pressure made.

More about Graco ProMix PD2K System

More about Graco ProMix PD2K System

The ProMix PD2K mixes the material close to the gun so the flush zone is significantly smaller. This allows customers to use less paint, spend less on disposal costs and allows for faster color changes. And because there is limited mixed material in the system, the ProMix PD2K is ideal for short pot life materials. It is also compatible with acid-based materials.

Graco has specific ProMix proportioners that are designed to manage tough acid catalyst applications like cabinetry and bar countertops. The corrosion resistance fluid section, plus the smart fluid plate with 316 and 17-4 SST catalyst sections, can easily handle strong acid catalysts.

 

Introducing the ARO Product Park App

The ARO® Product Park App showcases their air operated diaphragm and piston pumps in a way never before seen. With the app, you can now view ARO® pumps in full detailed operation, get inside a pump via the see-through mode, or select parts and view extensive information including part numbers and material information across several products.


See ARO® pumps in full 360 View, expanded Parts View and Run Mode!

Run Mode Demonstrating Fluid Motion

Parts View, Part Number, Material Information

360º Spin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ARO® Pumps available inside the Product Park:

  • 2” Powder Diaphragm Pump
  • 2” Flap Valve Diaphragm Pump
  • 2” EXP Metallic Diaphragm Pump
  • 3″ EXP Non-Metallic Diaphragm Pump
  • 2-Ball Piston Pump
  • 2 Post Package
  • 4-Ball Piston Pump
  • Chop-Check Piston Pump

Available on Mobile Devices

 

Find the ARO® Product Park on Google Play, Apple App Store, and for a portable PC version download it on the Microsoft Store.